Hyundai and Kia have introduced an innovative electric drive system, named the Universal Wheel Drive System, or Uni Wheel for short. This groundbreaking technology repositions the electric motor alongside the wheel, with the reduction gear housed within the wheel itself. This unique configuration liberates the space that is traditionally occupied by the motor between the two wheels of the vehicle.
The Uni Wheel system offers several advantages, akin to in-wheel motors, without the durability concerns associated with having the motor embedded within the wheel. Situated in the space typically occupied by a CV joint, the Uni Wheel replaces this component with a planetary gear set. This gear assembly consists of a central sun gear, four pinion gears on each side, and a surrounding ring gear connected to the wheel. The electric motor powers the sun gear, initiating the engagement of the pinion gears, which in turn rotate the ring gear and the connected wheel.
A key feature of this system is its ability to maintain constant torque delivery while allowing the wheel to move freely over varying road surfaces. This dynamic linkage between the pinion gears and the wheel’s movement enhances both efficiency and vehicle control, as noted by Hyundai.
Furthermore, the Uni Wheel’s design is both scalable and modular, enabling the use of an individual Uni Wheel for each wheel in an electric vehicle. This configuration permits highly precise torque vectoring, enhancing handling capabilities. To further enhance vehicle dynamics, the Uni Wheel can be paired with adjustable air suspension, offering the flexibility to lower the vehicle for high-speed driving or raise it for rough terrain.
It is important to mention that Hyundai and Kia are currently undergoing durability tests for the Uni Wheel. Nevertheless, they have already filed for eight patents with intellectual property offices in the United States, South Korea, and Europe. The automakers envision not only incorporating this technology into future electric vehicles but also integrating it into various forms of mobility that rely on driven wheels.
Hyundai has also previously introduced the e-Corner system, a compact package that combines suspension, steering, driving, and braking functions, designed to fit within the wheel hub of conventional vehicles. Notably, the e-Corner enables a wheel to be turned up to 90 degrees, enabling a vehicle to drive sideways, showcasing the continuous innovation in automotive technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Uni Wheel Electric Drive
What is the Uni Wheel Drive System introduced by Hyundai and Kia?
The Uni Wheel Drive System, or Uni Wheel, is an innovative electric drive system developed by Hyundai and Kia. It relocates the electric motor adjacent to the wheel and incorporates the reduction gear inside the wheel itself. This design aims to free up space within electric vehicles and optimize performance.
What are the advantages of the Uni Wheel system?
The Uni Wheel system provides several advantages:
- Space Optimization: It frees up the space between the two wheels where the motor traditionally resides, enhancing interior space and vehicle design flexibility.
- In-Wheel Motor Benefits: It offers packaging benefits similar to in-wheel motors but eliminates the durability concerns associated with having the motor within the wheel.
- Constant Torque Delivery: The system’s dynamic linkage allows for constant torque delivery while enabling the wheel to move freely over different road surfaces.
- Scalability: The design is modular, allowing for the use of an individual Uni Wheel for each wheel in an electric vehicle, enabling precise torque vectoring.
- Enhanced Handling: When combined with adjustable air suspension, it improves vehicle handling by offering height adjustment for different driving conditions.
What intellectual property developments are associated with the Uni Wheel system?
Hyundai and Kia have filed for eight patents related to the Uni Wheel system with intellectual property offices in the United States, South Korea, and Europe. These patents signify their commitment to advancing this innovative technology.
Where do Hyundai and Kia plan to implement the Uni Wheel technology?
Hyundai and Kia envision incorporating the Uni Wheel technology not only in future electric vehicles but also in various forms of mobility that rely on driven wheels. This demonstrates their intent to expand the application of this groundbreaking technology beyond traditional passenger cars.
What is the e-Corner system mentioned in the text?
The e-Corner system is another innovative technology previously introduced by Hyundai. It combines suspension, steering, driving, and braking functions within a compact package designed to fit in the wheel hub of conventional vehicles. Notably, the e-Corner allows a wheel to be turned up to 90 degrees, enabling a vehicle to drive sideways, showcasing Hyundai’s ongoing commitment to automotive innovation.
More about Uni Wheel Electric Drive
- Hyundai and Kia introduce Uni Wheel Drive System – Learn more about the Uni Wheel Drive System and its introduction by Hyundai and Kia.
- In-wheel motors and electric vehicle technology – Explore the benefits and challenges of in-wheel motors in electric vehicles.
- Hyundai’s e-Corner system – Discover Hyundai’s e-Corner system, another innovative technology in the world of automotive engineering.
- Patent filings for Uni Wheel technology – Access information about the patent filings associated with the Uni Wheel technology by Hyundai and Kia.
- Future mobility solutions – Explore the potential applications of the Uni Wheel technology in various forms of mobility beyond traditional vehicles.